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DEEP STATS: Is NC State’s insane 3rd down efficiency numbers fueling their undefeated season?



Coming into the season it was common knowledge that NC State’s offense was going to be good.

With starting QB Ryan Finley returning for his senior campaign and a stable of WRs that could rival any team in the country, it’s no surprise that through 6 weeks the Wolfpack is leading the conference in passing yards. That’s great and all, but did you know the Pack is ranked #1 in the entire nation in 3rd down conversion %.

Now, there is a lot that goes into having successful 3rd down conversion rates such as the average yardage you’re gaining on 1st and 2nd downs, the playcalling and obviously your personnel.

With the stoic Ryan Finley behind center, a quality offensive coordinator in Coach Drink, and a plethora of weapons at the skill positions, NC State has both options and experience. Those two things usually will lead to high offensive conversion rates, and high conversion rates usually equal long drives and a high ‘time of possession’ average.

Taking a look at ‘time of possession’ numbers you see (as expected) NC State sitting at #7 in the nation.

So, NC State is converting on 3rd down, which is leading to extended drives. Extended drives are spiking their ‘time of possession’ and those high ‘time of possession’ numbers are helping them dictate the pace, keep their defense fresh and thus rack up the wins.

Speaking of keeping the defense fresh, them being on the sidelines so long seems to be paying off.

In fact, when looking at 3rd downs, the NC State defense is holding teams to a conversion rate of 33%. That ranks 33rd in the nation. And remember, offensively they are converting a nation-leading 60.9% of their 3rd downs.

That means their 3rd down conversion rate margin is an insane 28%.

Looking at last season for comparison, the Pack converted on only 45% of their 3rd downs and allowed their opponents to convert on 42% of theirs. That gave them a margin of only 3%.

So to summarize:
2017 3rd down conversion margin: 3%
2018 3rd down conversion margin: 28%

That’ a pretty massive difference and that 28% is looking pretty darn high, so we tried to see where that number ranked nationally. While we weren’t able to track that down, we did find the ‘3rd AND 4th down conversion rate margin’ rankings, and as expected NC State is right up there at #3 in the nation.

Of all the stats that NC State is putting up right now, it’s hard to believe any have been as important to their current success as this grouping. When you factor in the fact that the Pack’s ground game has been decent at best, this really says a lot about the poise and focus of Ryan Finley and the grittiness and hunger of this defense.

NC State Football

Incoming NC State Players Get Their Jersey #’s, & Current Players Switch it Up



With the 2019 NC State Football Spring roster released, the jersey numbers of the incoming Freshman have been revealed.

It’s worth noting that both incoming Quarterback’s chose noteworthy numbers. Redshirt Sophomore Quarterback Bailey Hockman is wearing Russell Wilson’s honored #16 jersey, and Freshman Ty Evans chose Ryan Finley’s #15.

  • LB Drake Thomas took NIC Stephen Morrison’s #13.
  • NIC Jalen Frazier took CB Teshaun Smith’s #20.
  • S Khalid Martin took CB Taiyon Palmer’s #25.
  • CB Shyheim Battle took CB Vernon Grier’s #27.
  • DT Joshua Harris took DE Joe Babros’ #44.
  • OL Zovon Lindsay took LS Tyler Griffith’s #57.
  • DT CJ Clark took DE Davontae McRae’s #58.
  • OL Timothy McKay took C Garrett Bradbury’s #65.
  • WR Keyon Lesane took WR Devin Carter’s #85.
  • WR Chris Toudle took WR Emeka Emezie’s #86.
  • DE Savion Jackson took P AJ Cole’s #90.

Incoming players received their first ever jersey numbers as NC State players, but quite a few of the players already on the team decided to do a switcheroo.

  • RS SO TE Adam Boselli took over RB Marcellus Spell’s #46. Boselli was #88.
  • RS SO RB Dalton Counts took over TE Matthew Alderfer’s #35. Counts was #33.
  • RS FR CB Malik Dunlap switched from #19 to #24.
  • JR WR Emeka Emezie took over WR Kelvin Harmon’s #3. Emezie was #86.
  • RS SO OG Grant Gibson switched from #73 to #50.
  • SO S De’Von Graves took over S Dexter Wright’s #14. Graves was #6.
  • RS FR LB Calvin Hart took over CB Chris Ingram’s #15. Hart was #30.
  • JR CB Chris Ingram took over NIC Freddie Phillips #7. Ingram was #15.
  • RS FR P Mackenzie Morgan is #36 now. Morgan was #98.
  • RS FR CB Taiyon Palmer took over CB De’Von Graves #6. Palmer was #25.
  • SO RB Ricky Person took over WR Maurice Trowell’s #8. Person was #20.
  • SO CB Teshaun Smith switched from #20 to #8.
  • RS SO OL Kennan Solomon took over OL Terronne Prescod’s #70. Solomon was #94.
  • RS FR TE Camden switched from #93 to #45.


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NC State Football

A Few Players Have Switched Positions in the NC State Secondary



With Spring Football right around the corner, a few players have switched positions in the NC State Secondary.


Redshirt Freshman Malik Dunlap switched over from Safety to Cornerback during last season, and is still listed as a Corner on the Spring roster.

The Wolfpack have 7 scholarship Cornerbacks on the 2019 Spring Roster


Sophomore Tanner Ingle has been moved from Nickel to Safety. Ingle played in all 13 games last season as a Nickelback as a True Freshman. He started the first 7 games, before losing his job to Stephen Griffin. He ranked 6th on the team in tackles with 44.

Sophomore De’Von Graves has been moved from Cornerback to Safety. He saw action in 5 games at Corner (33 snaps) last year, and three other games strictly on special teams as a True Freshman.

NC State has 6 scholarship safeties on the 2019 Spring Roster.


Sophomore Tyler-Baker Williams has been moved from Safety to Nickelback. Baker-Williams saw action in 8 games last year as a True Freshman, taking snaps at Safety in 3 of them (18 snaps).

NC State has 3 scholarship Nickelbacks on the 2019 Spring Roster.

Keep in mind, incoming Freshman Jakeen Harris and Cecil Powell will get mixed into the Secondary this summer when they arrive.

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NC State Football

Defensive End Joe Babros Transferring from NC State



NC State Defensive End Joe Babros has officially entered his name into the Transfer Portal, and is no longer on the Wolfpack’s roster.

Babros was a Junior College transfer from Saddleback College, committing to NC State on October 6th, 2017.

He chose NC State over offers from Iowa State, Colorado State, Nevada and others.

ESPN ranked Babros as the #48 overall player in the JUCO ranks, and the #5 Defensive End.

Babros only saw action in the East Carolina game this year, and didn’t record any stats. As a result, this past season will count as a redshirt season wherever he lands.

With the exodus of Babros, NC State has 8 scholarship defensive ends on the roster.

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NC State Football

6 NC State Players Invited to 2019 NFL Combine



The invitations for the 2019 NFL Combine are officially out, and 6 NC State Football players were invited.

The Wolfpack are tied for the 6th most players invited to the Combine.

Honestly, I’m dumbfounded that Terronne Prescod didn’t receive an invite. He had the second highest grade of any offensive guard in the nation according to ProFootballFocus this year.

NC State sent 7 players to the 2018 NFL Combine last season.

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